Raglan Road Dancers at Downtown Disney ©Walt Disney World
St. Patrick's Day began as a Roman Catholic feast day celebrated each year on March 17, the day the patron saint of Ireland died back in the fifth century. But today, for many non-Catholic, non-Irish revelers, it's simply one big excuse to party. According to personal finance website WalletHub, St. Patrick's day partiers will drink 13 million pints of Guinness and consume 70 percent more cabbage, racking up an average bar tab of $36.50. So whether you're Irish or not, there are plenty of ways to celebrate this holiday with its great music, traditional Irish fare, drink specials, lively parties and plenty o' green beer. Just remember the wearin' of the green so you don't get pinched.
Pubs in Ireland have long been considered a place for families to gather. Following that tradition, Raglan Road allows its guests to experience the Irish culture every day, and especially on St. Patrick's Day. Order authentic fare from celebrity chef Kevin Dundon and enjoy free face painting as well as live music and entertainment from the Raglan Road dancers, the Brayzen Heads, Scythian, Reel O Grande, 2 Dollar Band and Drops of Green.
If you're planning to be at Universal Studios on March 17, you're in luck. Finnegan's is a traditional Irish pub with live music right inside the park. Order the Irish soda bread with apple butter, potato and leek soup and fish and chips then wash it all down with a cold pint of imported beer. If you're staying up late for more roller coaster rides or a night out at CityWalk, grab a Blarney Stone with Bailey's Irish Cream, Frangelico and coffee.
Orlando's newest Irish pub, McFadden's, opens just in time for St. Patrick's Day, right next to International Drive's new mega-attraction, the I-Drive 360: Home of the Orlando Eye. This New York mainstay continues its tradition of fun and tradition here in Orlando with a Blarney Bash for St. Paddy's. The party begins at noon with an Irish breakfast and goes on well into the night and early morning with live music, green beer, bagpipers, drink specials and even leprechauns. The bar features 20 HD TVs, a saloon for late-night partying and a family-friendly dining room.
After saving some green at the Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores, head over to Frankie Farrell’s Irish Pub & Grille next door. The family-friendly restaurant will serve traditional corned beef and cabbage from Sunday, March 15 through Tuesday, March 17. On St. Patrick’s Day they will deck out their restaurant with themed decor along with traditional music and give out complimentary hats and themed items. Drink specials will also be on tap. Frankie’s is owned and operated by a former Dublin pub owner and includes big-screen TVs, arcade games and 32 taps with European beers, such as Guinness, Mangers, Boddingtons and Bass.
American Q near Downtown Disney is offering a St. Paddy’s Day buffet featuring a barbecue spin on traditional Irish fare like the corned beef brisket, charred cabbage and house-made Irish bangers. Celebrate the occasion with an American Q Whiskey Smash with Teeling’s Irish whiskey, fresh mint and smoked dill pickles.
Near the Mall at Millenia is Duffy’s Sports Grill, a new restaurant that's keeping it classic this St. Patrick's Day with $4 Guinness pints and a corned beef and cabbage special for $12.95.
Teak Neighborhood Grill is offering Irish Car Bombs, Jameson shots, green beer and green jello shots, sure to get the crowd going. Refuel with some Guinness beer cheddar soup, corned beef and cabbage, and a shepherd's pie burger.
The Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld will be featuring a variety of food and drink specials to commemorate the festive day. Guests can choose from $5 green beers and $7 Irish car bombs to Guinness beertails and martinis. Tradewinds Restaurant will offer a St. Patrick's Day dinner special of Orlando Brown Ale braised corned beef with cabbage and red bliss potato, spicy herbed whole grain mustard and Irish soda bread for $16.
Even the Asian restaurants get into the Irish spirit on St. Paddy's Day. At Pointe Orlando, RA Sushi’s very own mixologist, Travis, is putting an Irish spin on the venue's most popular cocktails. Guests can sip on green hot sake, midori margaritas and the emerald punch bowl while waiting on their favorite sushi roll.
At 4 Rivers Smokehouse, either in Winter Park or near the University of Central Florida, be sure to order the St. Paddy’s Day Irish Burger that's topped with sliced corned beef, caramelized onions, melted provolone and 4R horseradish sauce. Save room for the Guinness stout brownie, topped with mint cookie frosting, or the Over the Rainbow cupcake topped with rainbow frosting and a gold shamrock, for dessert.